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10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know Before Getting a Spray Tan

Warmer weather means less clothing, which means more skin on display — and for some people, that means a healthy tan is in order so as to avoid shining like a pale beacon when exposed to the light of day. But it’s 2017, folks, and we all know that baking our skin for real is out and a fake tan is in — and we’ve got plenty of spray tan tips.

There are a few other means of getting some color — easy at-home self-tanner, for one — which can be effective, but runs the risk of turning your skin (and sheets) orange. Spray tanning is definitely where it is at.

Here, 10 spray tan tips you must know before you hop in that spray tan booth. (No. 11 goes unsaid, but for the love of God, don’t forget to put on the goggles.)

Spray tans last about a week, give or take

This can vary from person to person, but they typically last about 5 to 7 days from one application.

Shower & exfoliate before you tan

Use a body scrub head to toe to slough away any dry, flaky skin before you get a spray tan so the pigment will adhere smoothly for the most even results (as in, least streaky).

More: 7 Best Under-$20 Drugstore Self-Tanners That Won’t Streak

The color won’t just wash off

The pigment that spray tans leave behind is meant to slowly fade as your top layer of skin regenerates, so it’s not the kind of thing you can just scrub off. That’s why it’s able to last up to a week — and why you should approach with caution to make sure you won’t be stuck looking unnaturally tan for a full seven days.

Apply lotion every day

Keeping your newly tanned skin hydrated is the best way to make the color last longer because it won’t dry out and need to be exfoliated prematurely.

It’ll get darker after application

Similarly to standard self-tanner, spray tans will get darker from the time they’re applied and as the day progresses. The color takes a little while to fully develop, so don’t be alarmed if you leave feeling like it’s too light — it won’t be for long.

Pat, don’t rub, your skin dry

To preserve your tan, pat yourself dry rather than scouring with a towel after getting out of the shower. The idea is not to exfoliate for as long as possible so you don’t slough off the tan. Avoid using loofahs or coarse washcloths for the same reason.

More: The 9 Best Face Bronzers to Fake an Insanely Pretty Tan

Wear nail polish

Even if it’s nothing more than a clear coat, wearing polish into the booth will help to protect your nails from the spray tan. If you do have a full manicure, don’t worry about it getting ruined — your nails will be wiped off afterward.

Think about your bathing suit

While many people decide to get a spray tan while wearing nothing (no tan lines!), if you do wear a bathing suit, wear an old one you don’t mind ruining since the tan can stain the fabric.

Apply barrier cream

Naturally drier areas of the skin, like the elbows, ankles, and knees, will absorb more pigment, so always apply a protective barrier cream before the tan so they don’t go too dark. Most spray tan salons will provide the cream for use, so make sure you don’t skip it.

Look for a discount deal

Spray tanning can be expensive, but plenty of salons will offer deals on sites like Groupon and LivingSocial — if you’re apprehensive about the process but still want to give it a shot, at least make sure you’re not paying out the nose for your first time.

Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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